I recently received an invite from a local media outlet promoting an hour and a half long seminar titled How Vulnerable Is Your Network To Viruses, Ransomware, And Phishing? The cost was $40. Let me do you a favor and save you the time and money (and scare tactics).
Everyone is vulnerable to cyberterrorism. The problem is that the bad guys are constantly coming up with new ways to compromise computers and data. With this last round of ransomware (WannaCry and NotPetya), a user doesn’t even have to click on anything to get infected. Wannacry and NotPetya use a vulnerability called EternalBlue that compromises Microsoft Windows file sharing. Essentially, the technology that a business uses to access files and folders on a server (i.e. your F: drive or whatever drive letter you use) is the same technology which these ransomware variants use to propagate themselves.
OK, so how the heck are you supposed to protect yourself against a virus that spreads by itself? The answer is you have to take a multi-layered approach to IT security because one method of security will not stop the bad guys and their evil concoctions of black magic cryptoworms. If I could equate it to financial investing, it would be like “diversifying your portfolio”. Except that your portfolio is a cache of technology “armed guards”, if you will. Below is our list (in no particular order) of “armed guards” that will minimize your risk against these constantly emerging threats:
- Anti-virus software (preferably with Machine Learning technology)
- Anti-malware software
- Email filtering
- Business class firewall with intrusion prevention and web content filtering
- Browser filtering/protection
- DNS Protection
- Business Continuity solution (most important)
- Microsoft Shadow Copy enabled
- Microsoft SmartScreen enabled
- Limited user permissions on computers
- Employee security training
- Patch management software
I know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot “armed guards” and probably a lot of cost. Not true. Most of these things you probably already have and you’re not currently utilizing (or utilizing properly). Plus, a lot of these protections are usually bundled together. My recommendation is to review this list of “armed guards” with your IT provider and see what improvements need to be made or you can just call us to setup an appointment for a free IT security assessment. We’ll provide you with an honest assessment of your security and let you know where you stand.
Also, we won’t charge you $40. Stay safe out there.